Laura Witjens, Director of the British National Sperm Bank “has announced” that, a year after it was established, this bankhas only“nine registered donors”. To resolve this shortage, she has been inspired by Denmark’s recent campaign for “fruitful” donors.The Danish campaign encouraged men to prove their virility by donating their sperm. Laura Witjens has chosen the “superman” theme for her promotional campaign based on the fact that, “donors must ideally have exceptionally strong sperm in order for it to have the best chance of surviving the freezing and thawing process”.However, she wants to conduct a campaign that “respects, not shocks, children conceived by sperm donation”.
In England, rules governing the anonymity and gratuity of sperm donation changed in 2005. Sperm donation is no longer anonymous, thereby giving any children conceived in this way the right to trace their biological father when they turn 18. Donors receive £35 (€48) per donation. Laura Witjens does not want this “payment” to be increased. According to her, “advertising is key, not money (…) Money corrupts and may lead men to hide things about their health”.
After this initial autumn campaign, a November advert is planned “asking men to consider giving a Christmas gift by donating their sperm”. In 3 to 5 years, she hopes to have enough donors to “prevent couples from going abroad”.
The British National Sperm Bank is a publically funded independent organisation. It opened its doors last year in Birmingham (central England).
The Guardian (31/08/2015)